Kayleigh Paterson joined our team as Charity Development Executive in August 2018. Kayleigh was invaluable volunteering 7 days a week for a few months on top of her previous role with a company next door to the GEF office in Aberdeen.
The new full time role is based in Aberdeen and will see Kayleigh assist with the development and coordination of funding and growth of the charity. The key emphasis is around being a point of contact for our volunteers, admin support, researching funding opportunities through grants, trusts, major gift donors and corporate sponsors in order to support the delivery of our work.
Kayleigh returned from 2 weeks in Kenya where she and our other volunteers built 4 houses in 6 days. We feel that Kayleigh’s below post on return perfectly shows her passion for GEF:
“We are home! I have 800 photos to look through but I will post them up soon. In the meantime excuse this long post but I have picked 6 of them to round it up, and hopefully show exactly that has been achieved over the last 2 weeks!
“The picture of Sarah (9 years old) being told by Gideon Gathimba that she will have a new home 1 week from then, is the picture from all of my collection that brings me to tears. Her smile explains everything! The other photos are of the home that Sarah’s family have been sleeping in for 11 years, at the side of a dirt road so rough that vehicles can barely get over it.
“Now they have a new home with more than one room where they can sleep without being choked by fumes from the cooking and where they will have actual beds and mattresses and not have to sleep in a seated position because there isn’t enough room. They will have a roof that doesn’t leak. Their new home will have one solar panel to enable them to have light in each room. They will have a water tank to collect rain water for showering and cooking. They will have a separate kitchen. And they will have land, seeds and fertiliser supplied by GEF to help them become self sufficient over the next year.
“Gathimba Edwards Foundation and the 29 volunteers that have made this happen are incredible. I can’t even put the experience in words without tearing up, it has been life changing – both for the children we have helped and for me. To see these kids with barely anything in life except the old clothes on their body and the biggest smiles on their faces just goes to show that it’s people that can create their own happiness, not possessions.
“If you ever have the opportunity to do a volunteer trip to help someone or something then grab it with both hands. If you think one person can’t change the world let me tell you.. you are wrong! Together, individuals make a collective, who in turn can end up being the light the world needs more of!
“Thank you GEF for everything you do in Kenya and the life changing experience you have let me be a part of. Thank you for reading this and following our adventure. Kayleigh.”